It was hard not to have flashbacks this week to the Iraq invasion while watching the mainstream media cover Trump's Tomahawk missile strike against a Syrian air base. How could you not be put in mind of Chris Matthews' man-crush of GWB in his bunched up flightsuit when Brian Williams waxes rhapsodic on the 'beautiful images" and Fareed Zakaria (who has been mostly critical of Trump) declares that this is the moment that Trump turned presidential?
Why, you'd almost have to believe that the media collectively gets hard-ons for the kabuki theater of pre-cleared military strikes. Shocking!
Do they never get tired of being useful tools of a corrupt administration? Did they not learn this lesson after Iraq? What the hell is wrong with them? Dan Rather:
The role of the press is to ask hard questions. There is ample evidence that this Administration needs to face deep scrutiny. The lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia - itself a major player in Syria - demand that the press treat this latest action with healthy skepticism. Perhaps it was the right thing to do. Perhaps a strong and wise policy will emerge. But that judgement is still definitely hanging in the balance.
The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as "presidential" is concerning. War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.
There is no question that the pictures we've seen coming from Syria are horrifying. They've been horrifying for some time and Trump has been less than heart-stricken by them up until he needed some headlines to take over the news cycle. FAIR points out that the five major newspapers have published some 18 opinion columns on the Syrian strikes since Thursday and NOT ONE has been critical.
Maybe, just maybe, if the media doesn't want lower approval ratings than even the orange man-child wannabe-dictator, they should rethink their coverage of events like this.